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Apple Snatches Up Intrinsity for ARM CPU Design

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 13 comments

Apple buys some semiconductor talent.

When Apple debuted the iPad earlier this year, Steve Jobs announced that the A4 CPU was a custom job made specifically for the new tablet device. Upon closer inspection, including some pretty crafty teardowns, it was revealed that it was a custom package-on-package ARM with integrated memory and GPU.

It's now revealed by the New York Times that Apple has purchased the chip firm that many believe to be responsible for some of the A4's design – Intrinsity of Austin, Tex.

While neither Apple nor Intrinsity are commenting on the deal, analysts estimate that the deal was worth around $121 million.

Together with PA Semi, Apple has amassed a considerable amount of CPU talent – no doubt with the intention to focus more heavily on in-house development of technology that its competitors can't have.

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  • 20 Hide
    babybeluga , April 28, 2010 7:01 PM
    Apple says, "Nom Nom Nom!"
  • 16 Hide
    RazberyBandit , April 28, 2010 7:22 PM
    The original rumors of Apple buying ARM weren't too far off... But instead of buying ARM Holdings, it was the ARM-based processor maker responsible for the A4's speed advantage that Apple was actually after.
  • 13 Hide
    figgus , April 28, 2010 8:34 PM
    JudguhSo what was the point of AMD going in to talk with Apple?


    I doubt they will be using ARM processors in their MacBooks...
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    babybeluga , April 28, 2010 7:01 PM
    Apple says, "Nom Nom Nom!"
  • 16 Hide
    RazberyBandit , April 28, 2010 7:22 PM
    The original rumors of Apple buying ARM weren't too far off... But instead of buying ARM Holdings, it was the ARM-based processor maker responsible for the A4's speed advantage that Apple was actually after.
  • 6 Hide
    tayb , April 28, 2010 7:36 PM
    Smart move by Apple.
  • 3 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , April 28, 2010 7:48 PM
    babybelugaApple says, "Nom Nom Nom!"

    Haha, so true.

    And yep, smart move by Apple.
  • 5 Hide
    dman3k , April 28, 2010 7:49 PM
    So I guess we'll be seeing texans thrown of roofs pretty soon.
  • 8 Hide
    pojih , April 28, 2010 7:52 PM
    vertical monopoly!
  • -5 Hide
    Judguh , April 28, 2010 8:27 PM
    So what was the point of AMD going in to talk with Apple?
  • 13 Hide
    figgus , April 28, 2010 8:34 PM
    JudguhSo what was the point of AMD going in to talk with Apple?


    I doubt they will be using ARM processors in their MacBooks...
  • 0 Hide
    jecastej , April 28, 2010 9:30 PM
    Apple and AMD. I think It has to do with next generation CPUs from AMD being very cool and low power and that is something Apple may be interested for their mobile line, maybe new entry level Mac Books. Also about powerful integrated GPUs and even the chipset. Everything!

    Also, 121 millions can't compare to 6 billions on the speculation about ARM acquisition from Apple. But obviously Apple is interested in investing further in ARM chip development.
  • 0 Hide
    schmich , April 28, 2010 11:12 PM
    What a shame for the consumer. This is mainly to close Intrisity's great minds from the competition. Today, the Hummingbird (which was worked on together with Samsung) can be bought by anyone and has much better graphics capabilities than the Snapdragon.
  • 5 Hide
    alextheblue , April 28, 2010 11:16 PM
    jecastejApple and AMD. I think It has to do with next generation CPUs from AMD being very cool and low power and that is something Apple may be interested for their mobile line, maybe new entry level Mac Books. Also about powerful integrated GPUs and even the chipset. Everything!Also, 121 millions can't compare to 6 billions on the speculation about ARM acquisition from Apple. But obviously Apple is interested in investing further in ARM chip development.

    It has less to do with AMD's CPUs, and more to do with AMD and Nvidia GPUs. Apple was using Nvidia IGPs on a lot of their systems, to give them a performance boost over Intel's graphics. This is especially important on entry level mobile systems where a discrete card adds considerable cost and power consumption.

    However, Intel has blocked Nvidia from producing chipsets for their newest CPUs. But if Apple uses AMD CPUs, they gain access to both AMD's IGPs, as well as Nvidia IGPs (since Nvidia can still produce chipsets for AMD's platforms). Apple can continue to use Intel chips on other systems, where they can use discrete graphics instead of an IGP.
  • 0 Hide
    elcentral , April 29, 2010 9:06 AM
    im thinking its the sheep amd 6 cores but the next gen one they are making. nice for the price and cant find a reason its not a great way for apple to go whit.
  • 0 Hide
    rhino13 , April 29, 2010 4:04 PM
    Man I'd hate to not have tech that Apple has.
    I mean I practically can't navigate my PC without the Magic Mouse.